Two FM authors — Asha from Parent Hacks and Mindy from The Mommy Blog — weigh in on how to talk to kids about the economy — on CNN. I think they both did a great job, and I’m impressed with the quality of the Skype video. It’s great to see such talented bloggers cross over to bring their brands to video so successfully, as they did here and as they’re doing at The Momversation.
I suspect more than a few folks are scratching their heads about the whole #motrinmoms scandal du weekend. As my friend @fuzheado said, the divergence in reaction might make a good Mars/Venus case study. He didn’t get what all the fuss was about, but his wife honed right in on the problem.
Not surprisingly, I’m with the wife. Like the super-vocal moms who took such offense, I immediately “got” the problem with the ad — its tone. As a mom with a 5-month-old, I “wear” my baby all the time. But it’s not because it’s “in fashion,” because it’s “supposedly” is a good bonding experience or because I want to look like “an official mom”, as the Motrin ad implies. It’s because it works. The kid doesn’t cry and I can do whatever needs doing. And of course it’s a bonding experience, because any time you meet your child’s needs that’s the case.
And, yes, sometimes my back hurts. Others out there are admitting this, too, even though the conventional wisdom is that babywearing doesn’t hurt if you’re doing it right. So, I don’t think J&J is far off in targeting moms who wear their babies. They’re just going about it wrong. (And let’s not dismiss this as a Twitter crisis. For everyone that’s tweeting about this, there are many others that are hearing about it, or just seeing the ads themselves and having the same reaction. Twitter is just surfacing the word-of-mouth that would have been happening anyway. )
But all is not lost for the brand. Right now, everyone’s saying they will boycott Motrin. This bodes ill for their product for adults and may also impact their product for kids, given they’ve now offended the target that controls the purse-strings.
The silver lining is that Motrin has gotten everyone’s attention. They need to grab this opportunity, while they’re in the online spotlight, to connect in a positive way. They need to apologize and retool their condescending message about babywearing. To make sure it gets seen, an ad spend on mommy blogs is in order. Motrin have shown that they’re not the experts on babywearing, but they can certainly get involved with and sponsor conversations on the topic — a topic that inspires an amazing amount of passion. Whaddaya say, J&J?
Sarah Evans on Mashable has a prescription for Motrin, as well.
I loved Kent Nichols’ (of Ask a Ninja) explanation of what we at FM — specifically our salespeople — do. Paraphrasing here, but the moderator asked how AAN has been successful courting brand advertisers. The secret, Kent said, is “sweaty people who drink” — aka hard work building real-life relationships with agencies and advertisers, sometimes with the lubricating influence of alcohol. It’s the non-engineerable aspect of advertising, he said, and it requires the sweat of people who do “voodoo bullshit” and “close deals.”
This panel has completely rocked — best of the SXSW interactive conference so far — and Kent Nichols is a great instigator. He totally gets it, and he expresses it in a laugh-out-loud hilarous way.
Reading one of my colleague’s blogs today (FM is rife with bloggers, wouldn’t you know it?), I got interested in checking out a podcast he mentioned: a lecture by Michael Pollan, of The Omnivore’s Dilemma fame. But, that’s as far as I could get.
To actually listen to this podcast, I have to remember — when I get home, after a busy day at work — to fire up iTunes, search for this podcast, and subscribe. Yeah, that’ll happen. Not.
One thing I love about my TiVo service is that I can go to the Web interface (still not as good as the ReplayTV service was, but pretty decent), and subscribe to a season pass of a new show that I recently heard about. On Netflix, I can go over and queue up the newest, hottest independent film reviewed in the NYT, months before it’s actually released on DVD. On Amazon, I can impulsively start a TiVo download of a movie or TV show that I suddenly remember I’d like to see.
In all these case, my entertainment is basically sent to me, after a few keystrokes, and it’s ready for me to enjoy whenever I find the time. Why can’t I do this on iTunes? Am I missing something?
So far, just what you’d expect — awesome stuff.